Letters

Yellow Fellow

Nobody is that yellow. I liked the article on City Heights (“Changes in City Heights,” March 18), but the yellow tone to the Asian section of the portrait on the front sucks. Come on.

  • Starr
  • Spring Valley

Back To Front

Love the cover image of the two girls…wait a minute… oops, sorry. I was looking at the ad on the back cover. Never mind.

  • Dan Adams
  • via email

Pooless And Quiet

While it’s great to read an article which reflects the turnaround that much of City Heights has experienced since intense rebuilding and revitalization began a decade or so ago, I was taken aback by the parts which state that residents regularly have to avoid dog poop on sidewalks and that the library is noisy and overcrowded (“Changes in City Heights,” Cover Story, March 18). She must have spent her time in a different section of City Heights than where I’ve lived for 11 years (and there are several), as I can’t recall any encounters with said poo during my walks. As for the library, I use the beautiful two-story City Heights/Weingart Branch on the corner of Fairmount Avenue and Wightman Street, which certainly gets lots of use but remains quiet and orderly inside.

I don’t doubt that she encountered what she did, but it’s noteworthy that there are many neighborhoods within this neighborhood.

  • Dan Reznick
  • via email

Cross Words

(1) Crappy cover “art.” Put American Apparel ad on cover, bury cover “art” in backyard.

(2) Good job bringing in all the pot ads. Soon you’ll be flooded with rehab ads too. Win-win. Know any good coke-crystal-heroin dealers too?

(3) Not getting the sweet smell of inspiration from Reader anymore. I’m whiffing the stale smell of desperation. That desperation is exemplified by hanging on to Barbara, I mean “Barbarella.” Ooh, what an edgy name! What a dufus hipster. Hot? Kramer. Not? “Barbarella.”

(4) With all the advertisements crowded around the articles, when I see all the pages I’ve turned it makes me feel like I’ve read a lot.

(5) The crossword puzzle was much more fun to do when you printed all the correctly completed and submitted entries. Does it really cost that much to put one more sheet of paper into the binder? Does it really?

Good luck!

  • Critter
  • via email

Missed The Mark On Marco

I was disheartened to read Don Bauder’s recent article about Marco Li Mandri (“Too Much Conflict, Too Much Interest,” “City Lights,” March 4). I generally respect Don’s writing and research, but this time I think he has missed the mark. I have known Marco for 15 years and worked with him as a Little Italy board member, property owner, and business owner.

When I bought a Little Italy office building at a foreclosure sale in 1992, the neighborhood was dismal. The homeless lived in abandoned buildings and camped in parking lots. An 18-unit apartment building across the street had been illegally converted to 40 single rooms, and multiple drug users shared each room; Little Italy’s street gutters were loaded with trash. At that time, the Park and Recreation Department was responsible for maintaining our district but did little to control the problems, which discouraged the revitalization of the area.

Marco became involved with Little Italy in 1994 and helped organize our first Festa. He continued to help residents, tenants, business owners, and property owners form the Little Italy Association (LIA), which was established in 1996 without community opposition. In 1997 Marco proposed having the Little Italy Association take over maintenance of the district from the Park and Recreation Department. I told him he was crazy; I did not think there was any way the City would allow him to replace City employees. In the summer of 1998, Marco proved me wrong, and the LIA took over maintenance of Little Italy. Perhaps his enthusiasm to solve problems instead of ignoring them ruffled feathers in City departments. Ultimately, Mike Aguirre and Scott Kessler took issue with Marco’s style; however, the residents, property owners, and business owners are thrilled with the improved level of service Marco has provided.

In 2004, the property owners were so pleased with the service Marco delivered that we voted to double our budget through an additional assessment on our property taxes. We now have 30 sets of tables and chairs on the street corners, 250 trash cans that are emptied regularly, 800 trees that are trimmed and watered, and more than 70 dog-bag stations are cared for every week. We have also added 100 hanging plants and over 50 corner pots that Marco’s workers service on a daily basis. Marco’s brightly clothed helpers are visible throughout the day, which deters crime. There are countless community events that are held annually, which make Little Italy the most livable of neighborhoods in downtown San Diego.

Our LIA board has had over 20 members over the past ten years. I served on the original board of directors. Marco has never been a voting member of the board. Unfortunately, conflict of interest often occurs when dealing with the City. Our city council members vote on projects and issues that are advanced by citizens who often have given them campaign contributions. By Don Bauder’s definition, this is a conflict of interest, but that is unfortunately the system under which we live.

In my opinion, Marco is the poster child for privatizing services and for getting twice the benefit for half the cost.

  • Brian Walsh

Aw, Shucks

I think this lady who is trying to get the district to not charge for school fees is doing a great job (“School Fees Are Illegal,” “City Lights,” March 18). I don’t think students should pay for special events, swimming classes, soccer teams, etc. I think this lady is pretty smart. I think she’s doing the right thing, because the economy’s really low right now. We’re going to be charging our students for things the school should be providing for them. And I think you guys are doing a great job at the Reader.

  • Dr. Greenthumb
  • San Diego

Budget Realities

Re “School Fees Are Illegal” (“City Lights,” March 18).

In a perfect world we would offer everything for free, but with the public school budget crisis going on in California, let’s be realistic! If we want our kids to go to school every day, do their schoolwork, and offer nothing else, we could do it free of charge to the students and families. But we would have unhappy, unfulfilled, and bored kids that would go out and get into trouble after school because there were no artistic, educational, and athletic outlets offered at school.

As a parent of a high school football player and 4.0 student, would I love to not have to write a check for $175 to play football? Of course, but it is just not realistic. My son would be playing in tattered uniforms and unsafe equipment. I am not willing to sacrifice my child’s well-being just to save some money.

At Mission Bay High School if a child is unable to pay, they are not forced to pay. The majority of our students are bused in and on free or reduced lunches. Many families pay their fees throughout the year so their kids can play because it is important to them. Until the budgets handed down from Sacramento increase, we will just have to accept the fact that if our kids want to participate in sports activities or activities other than education, we as parents will have to chip in, and we should do it happily and generously.

I think Sally Smith should put her energy into something more positive, like raising money or writing grants for schools to offset the costs for these activities. She is finally forced to quit bullying the Serra families and teachers; now she is moving on to wreak havoc at other schools. Stay away, you are not welcome, Sally Smith!

  • Cori Meara
  • via email

Gregg, Indeed

The “Brainstorms” puzzle in the March 4 Reader was indeed Gregg shorthand (Letters, March 11). In 1966, I took a one-semester course in the Diamond Jubilee version of Gregg shorthand. Every character of the puzzle was immediately readable by that system, with no puzzling ability required.

  • Betsy Cory
  • Chula Vista

Culture Crash

This so-called story was horrible (“Filipino Rules,” Cover Story, March 4)! It was more of a complaint letter than a story about the Filipino culture. Sure, the writer touched on certain scenarios and values that are typical of our Filipino culture, but most of the things mentioned aren’t just exclusive to Filipinos. The writer needs to learn how to think outside of the box and think about how other readers who are not familiar with our culture would interpret her writing. It would be great if someone would produce a quality article about our culture, because this one just set us back so much. Horrible!

  • Mary Ann
  • via email

Why Feature Flaws?

I think the article “Filipino Rules” (Cover Story, March 4) is harmful to the Filipino community and shouldn’t have been published in isolation. Although the stereotypes mentioned in the article are not “that bad,” I think other articles showing other aspects of the Filipino culture should also be presented periodically in the Reader to give the audience a better understanding of that culture.

Some people have commented that the author was just sharing her experiences, but why call it “Filipino Rules”? From that title, I (and I’m sure many others as well) interpreted that having strict Filipino parents was a problem. My strict Filipino parents are the main reason for my success today, so I think it’s unfair to give such a one-sided view. If it was just truly about the author’s experiences, why not call it “Girl with Strict Parents” instead of calling attention to her ethnicity.

I understand that not all articles about a particular ethnicity will be positive. In fact, I strongly support articles regarding topics that are not pleasing to hear (pollution in the Philippines, human trafficking) if they are meant to help that community. However, are the flaws of strict Filipino parenting really a problem that needs to be addressed on the front page of the Reader? Also, if the point of the article was to show the flaws in strict Filipino parenting, was there a reason to include the other negative stereotypes (driving crazy, wannabe gangsters)? Because of this, I feel that the article was included simply to make fun of Filipinos and that other articles showing Filipinos in a positive light should be included.

  • Jordan
  • via email

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Comments

To Jordan and all who commented on "Filipino Rules"(Cover Story, March 4):

Jordan's are pretty fair last words for this piece, as they stated what everyone may have considered, but only a few communicated: The piece would have best been published as part of a pastiche of experiences of Filipino culture, perhaps as the one demonstrating a single young woman's struggles growing up and attempting to articulate herself as bicultural. From the comments, one must conclude that in a case like this one, because so few views of Fil-Am life are readily available in our local print culture, acknowledgement of a larger social responsibility should trump any argument about artistic license. It is difficult for me to say this, and only in such a case would I: in the final analysis, it was irresponsible to allow this piece to stand alone. In the interests of fairness, I would urge the editors to consider in future: when publishing a perspective of an underrepresented culture that might be taken as largely negative or slanderous by the majority of its readers of the community in question, do so only as part of a panel or series of multiple perspectives--of more diverse opinion. In this way, the larger community may benefit from a more balanced choice of views of a subsection of its neighbors, who may in turn feel better represented and understood where they live and work--that is, by the larger community of San Diegans to which we all belong.

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